Markku Laakso was trained as an operatic and symphonic conductor at the St. Petersburg State Conservatory “N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov”, where his teacher was Maestro Leonid Korchmar of the Mariinsky Theatre. He continued his studies with prof. Leif Segerstam at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, where he completed his Master of Music degree in 2010.
In 2007 he became the first Finnish conducting fellow of the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen, Colorado, USA, working and performing intensively under the supervision of Maestro David Zinman. At the Aspen Music Festival he served as an assistant and cover conductor of the Aspen Chamber Symphony. In 2009 he studied with Gianluigi Gelmetti at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy. His other teachers include Martyn Brabbins, Georg Mark, Osmo Vänskä, Larry Rachleff and Zoltán Peskó.
Markku Laakso has conducted many orchestras in Europe, Russia and North America, including St. Petersburg State Academic Symphony Orchestra, Kymi Sinfonietta, Winnipeg Symphony, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Norrköping Symphony Orchestra, Sibelius Academy Symphony Orchestra, Sofia Festival Orchestra, Kislovodsk Symphony Orchestra, St. Petersburg Capella Symphony Orchestra, Savaria Symphony and Debrecen Philharmonic. He is also Principal Conductor of the new Helsinki-based opera association “Opera Artico”.
Markku Laakso recently made a successful opera debut at the Krušnohorské Theater in Teplice, Czech Republic in a production of Cosi fan tutte and served as an assistant conductor to Alexander Vedernikov at Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana in Lugano, Switzerland. In 2013 he worked as a guest conductor as well as an assistant to Yasuo Shinozaki at Kymi Sinfonietta in Finland.